In the wake of absurd media assertions that the 2006 elections represent the end of conservatism as reported here and here, “The Chris Matthews Show” Sunday depicted a much more rational and well-reasoned analysis of what happened last Tuesday. And, the sanity came from some surprising sources, the first being Dan Rather:
What killed the big tent was the war. You can overanalyze this. The war was the issue. Come 2008, this breakdown may be completely different again. But, this time, it was the war, the war, the war.
Matthews then asked: “So, once the war is over, they can be back together, the big crowd?” Rather elaborated:
They could be. Important to watch: a lot of House Republicans want to take the Party more to the right, believing that's the way to save the Party. And if they are successful in doing that, that will have far-reaching consequences in 2008.
Amazing, but quite true. Next up was Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:
Democrats aren't as control in the Senate as they think if they're depending on Joe Lieberman. He's going to be the new Zell Miller of Senate Democrats. He is angry because so many big-time Democrats turned their backs on him and some Republicans campaigned for him. So the Democrats won't be able to depend on Joe Lieberman.
Finally, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell chimed in:
There is a ferocious fight going on already in the House side. Speaker Pelosi, Speaker-designate Pelosi is not going to yield on Jane Harman on the intelligence committee, and a little-known decision by Rahm Emanuel not to challenge an African-American congressman for the whip post means that the Congressional black leadership will feel that they have already been mollified. This will take Alcee Hastings, an African-American off the waiting list for intelligence and they're going to go to an Hispanic for intelligence.
Matthews then asked, “Why is Pelosi so tough on Harman?”
Mitchell responded: “Feels she hasn't been tough enough on the Bush administration, on intelligence issues, that she wasn’t, that she was too moderate, too centrist, even though she is the most credible Democrat on all of these issues and has a national following and it is a really nasty fight among two powerful congresswomen.”
Fascinating and rational observations all. Isn’t it sad that Krugman and Klein chose to ignore these realities as they cheer-led for the end of conservatism?